“I have no memories of being a child and drawing,” says shape-mad Dutch illustrator Jacco Bunt. Like a lot of 18-year-olds, Jacco found himself applying for art school. Unlike the bulk of them, he did it without a portfolio. That didn’t work out, so he took up another course, quit, entered the world of work, and then began exploring his creative side. It wasn’t until he was 20 that he began drawing in earnest.
Not that you’d know that from the glorious geometric compositions he regularly produces here in the present. Talking to Jacco, we get a sense that he’s someone always keen to look at initial limitations as positions for future growth. “When I started art school I couldn’t draw like people should at that age. I needed to find another way to express myself and make things, and when you’re in that position it’s easy to end up looking toward de stijl, or bauhaus, or cubism, or anything from that period because that’s when a new way of visualizing what we already new became the norm,” Jacco tells us. “I got really into the ideas of de stijl, focusing on abstraction rather than realism. I’ve become less abstract now, but I think I needed that time at art school to figure out what’s possible.”
Inspired by everything from arcane folklore to Spanish toilet paper packaging, the Rotterdam-based illustrator works on the basis that everything he produces should be fundamentally visually appealing. Which, as you can already see, it is. A creature of habit, he tries to bring to life one complete image a day. Talking us through where this fits into his daily life, he gives us the following comprehensive — and oddly intimate — account of what a normal day in the life of Jacco Bunt looks like.
“I wake up every morning around 7.30, eat muesli with yoghurt and fresh fruit, drink coffee, smoke a cigarette, start drawing, eat while drawing, answer mails, shower, draw more, go to the studio, finish drawing or start painting, buy groceries, cook or go out for food, draw and watch a movie/series/documentary, eat chips in bed, and go to sleep around ten or eleven.”
The work he produces is consistently intriguing, with trips to Andalusia and life and times of Grace Jones alike being given the cheerfully colourful, perfectly rigid signature Jacco Bunt treatment.